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Narrative Discourse

Authors and Narrators in Literature, Film and Art

Patrick Colm Hogan

Publication Year: 2013

In Narrative Discourse: Authors and Narrators in Literature, Film, and Art, Patrick Colm Hogan reconsiders fundamental issues of authorship and narration in light of recent research in cognitive and affective science. He begins with a detailed overview of the components of narrative discourse, both introducing and reworking key principles. Based on recent studies treating the complexity of human cognition, Hogan presents a new account of implied authorship that solves some notorious problems with that concept. In subsequent chapters Hogan takes the view that implied authorship is both less unified and more unified than is widely recognized. In connection with this notion, he examines how we can make interpretive sense of the inconsistencies of implied authors within works and the continuities of implied authors across works. Turning to narrators, he considers some general principles of readers’ judgments about reliability, emphasizing the emotional element of trust. Following chapters take up the operation of complex forms of narration, including parallel narration, embedded narration, and collective voicing (“we” narration). In the afterword, Hogan sketches some subtleties at the other end of narrative communication, considering implied readers and narratees. In order to give greater scope to the analyses, Hogan develops case studies from painting and film as well as literature, treating art by Rabindranath Tagore; films by David Lynch, Bimal Roy, and Kabir Khan; and literary works by Mirabai, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Margaret Atwood, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Joseph Diescho.

Published by: The Ohio State University Press

Series: Theory and Interpretation of Narrative


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 8-9


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

Part of chapter 1 appeared as “A Passion for Plot: Prolegomena to Affective Narratology,” symplokē 18 (2011): 65–82. An earlier version of part of chapter 2 appeared as “Auteurs and Their Brains: Cognition and Creativity in the Cinema,” Visual Authorship: Creativity and Intentionality in Media (Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook 2004), ed. Torben Grodal, Bente Larsen, and Iben Thorving Laursen (Copenhagen, Denmark: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2005), 67–86. ...

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Introduction: Discourse Analysis and Narration

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pp. 1-20

THERE ARE here are three main senses in which the phrase “discourse analysis” is used in literary study today. The first and fundamental sense is that of linguistics—the study of units of speech or writing above the level of the sentence. Alternatively, some writers characterize linguistic discourse analysis as the study of language in use (as Schiffrin, Tannen, and Hamilton point out in the introduction to their Handbook of Discourse Analysis [1]). ...

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1. Who Is Speaking to Whom: The Communicative Discourse of Narrative Art

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pp. 21-63

NARRATIVE APPEARS in a range of contexts and forms. In many cases, stories are told only once or twice because they concern events of interest to the speaker and perhaps the addressee, but to relatively few people beyond that. In other cases, stories may have greater general appeal and may be repeated by a range of tellers to a range of addressees because of their humor, pathos, or other engaging qualities. ...

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2. Cross-Textual Implied Painters and Cinematic Auteurs: Rabindranath Tagore's Paintings and Bimal Roy's Madhumati

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pp. 64-112

THE PRECEDING of discourse is, of course, far from exhaustive. There is a great deal more to say about each of its components. This chapter and the next take up some complications and extensions of implied authorship. Specifically, the present chapter examines the consequences of bringing the idea of implied authorship into the analysis of works in two other media—painting and cinema. ...

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3. Authors, Implied and Implicated: Explaining Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Kabir Khan's New York

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pp. 113-149

THE PRECEDING CHAPTER was concerned with continuities in the implied author, not only at the level of the individual work, but at the level of the canon. The present chapter argues that the unity or consistency of implied authorial intent is greatly overestimated. ...

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4. Narrative Reliability: Margaret Atwood's Surfacing

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pp. 150-182

AS THE PRECEDING chapter begins to suggest, one of the most fundamental interpretive questions about discourse concerns reliability. Indeed, the very distinction between narrator and implied author is in large part motivated by the desire to clarify the difference between reliable and unreliable narrators. Specifically, here as elsewhere, the implied author provides a norm against which one may judge the ...

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5. Varieties of Multiple Narration (I): Parallel Narrators in William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and David Lynch's Mulholland Drive

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pp. 183-221

WHEN THINKING ABOUT NARRATION, people commonly imagine a single narrator. But many works have multiple narrators. Indeed, multiple narration in some form is found in almost every narrative of any length. This chapter begins by distinguishing three forms of multiple narration—embedded, collective, and parallel. It then explores parallel narration in greater detail, leaving ...

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6. Varieties of Multiple Narration (II): Embedded Narration, Focalization, and the Collective Voicing in Ngugi Wa Thiong'o's Petals of Blood and Born of the Sun by Joseph Diescho (with Celeste Wallin)

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pp. 222-250

AGAIN, multiple narration may be parallel, embedded, or groupbased. This chapter begins with embedded narration and some related issues in focalization. It first considers the topic in general, theoretical terms, then turns to a Kenyan novel that takes up narrational embedding to treat political themes. One central thematic concern of ...

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Afterword: A Note on Implied Readers and Narratees: Mirabai's "Even if you break off, beloved, I would not"

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pp. 251-258

... Subsequent chapters have examined some of the nuances of implied authors, narrators, and the relations among implied authors and narrators, with some treatment of focalization as well. When undertaking this book initially, my plan was to treat all the constituents of narration (leaving aside the real author and real reader/critic, who are not technically part of the discourse). As the writing progressed, I eventually ...


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pp. 259-275

Works Cited

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pp. 276-288


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pp. 289-301

Other Works in the Series

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pp. 316-317

Back Cover

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p. 318-318

E-ISBN-13: 9780814270097
E-ISBN-10: 0814270093
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814212097
Print-ISBN-10: 0814212093

Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 36 halftones, 1 table
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Theory and Interpretation of Narrative